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by Jesse Kiser

‘Olympic moments’ lists

Oh yeah, we’re all doing it — using the international games to file some cheap copy. One of the best things about the Olympics is that they are chock-full of reportable items that beg to be chopped and sorted into lists. Like this one!

Oh, silly Bush

Our president had a ball in China, from that awkward, lower-back slap when the volleyball player wanted a pat on the butt to “raising the roof” of Beijing National Stadium. He was living it up in the Big Red, but it wasn’t all great “Daily Show” clips; there was also a serious side to his visit. He gave firm talks to the Russian president about his feelings of the unacceptable attack on Georgia and his talk with Chinese leaders about how he felt they should indulge and promote their churches. But we all wanted to laugh at the lower back slap he gave an American volleyball player. Who didn’t?

Told ya!

So during these Olympics we found out that the Chinese government is not exactly one to embrace their citizens’ free will and let the truth happen. That’s a real shocker there. Who didn’t expect the Chinese government (let me remind you they are communist) to let the freedom of their citizens prevail and just let things happen how they should. There were the altered and digitally enhanced fireworks, reworked to appear better on the TV screen. Then there was the 7-year-old who sang China’s national anthem but could not cut it, pun intended, with her crooked baby teeth and chubby cheeks. So she was replaced by a prettier girl, but her voice was not replaced, leaving the new young girl to lip sync. Surprise, surprise… so the Chinese government controls every area of their citizen’s lives. They’re communists, what did you expect?

He’s not 16

No, it is not a he in the women’s gymnastics’ I am talking about, but rather He Kexin, a supposedly 16-year old gymnast who competed for China. He and Jiang Yuyuan were both accused of being under 16 years of age, which has been the required minimum age since 1997. The New York Times claims the gymnasts are14, according to official Chinese websites that list gymnasts and their ages. But who didn’t question that when He and Jiang walked out on the floor with their straight baby teeth. So most of us could care less that China wanted to make sure all the ceremonies looked good to the rest of the world, but cheating in the competition draws the line. They wanted a glossy, clean and straight-toothed opening ceremony and they got it.

Alicia Sacramone, who walked away with the gold in the individual, all-around gymnastics competition, and Shawn Johnson, who walked away with silver in the same competition, made history. Never before have two Americans walked away with gold and silver in individual gymnastics competition. And to top it off they are just complete badasses. Shawn Johnson stands at 4 feet 8 inches, and I’m 6 feet 3 inches, but I still look up to her. The two were on the “Today” show saying their nerves got to them at some points, causing them to slip up. Psssh, they just wanted to let the Chinese feel a little bit better about themselves. The women’s gymnastics team was the 2007 World Gymnastics Champion entering the Olym pics and the favorite to win, well at least the favorites in America. And how are they going to celebrate their victory? By going out and getting a drink… in five years.

Phelps is a rock star

When NBA stars get up early to watch you compete when they have a game later that day — well, you must be pretty cool. Did you see him in between meets? Standing a 6-feet-4 with headphones in his ears and a hood over his head like he is a freaking rock star? Now with eight metals and seven world records, he is a rock star. I don’t think I will see such a performance again until after I’m pushing daisies. The win against Spain was the best though, down to a hundredth of a second. I couldn’t tell from the video at all, which is why I’m glad I’m not an Olympic judge.

Costas in his element

Costas is drier than James Bond’s mar tini, but to truly see him in his element on live TV, for me, was better than the Olympics themselves. He is a very likable, down-to-earth commentator who rarely is without something witty to say. During the live broadcast he would run out of things to say and just get silly sometimes. At one point, after Phelps won his sixth gold metal, Costas said, “Yeah it’s impres sive, yeah it’s historic, and at this point it’s also ridiculous.” That one was my favorite.

Nowhere else can you get excited about water polo

Where else, outside of elite universi ties, can you actually root for a water polo team? Think of all the Olympic sports that you would normally not pay attention to when unless they were part of the games. There’s archery, handball and equestrian (something to do with horses) to name a few of the not-so-commonly watched sports we all get excited about just because it’s the Olympics. How about watching China vs. America hit rubber balls with wings on the back in a rousing game of badminton? Or you can always get out of your seat for some exciting table tennis.

Watching basketball at 3 a.m.

Watching basketball at 3 a.m. Enough said. I had to stay up and watch Chris Paul, who is my homeboy, literally, because he is from my hometown Clemmons. He went to my high school and I remember hearing of his record-breaking high school performances almost every week when I was a freshman. But back to the Olympics, with the men powering out a 119-82 win, rather a destruction, over the world champions, Spain, why wouldn’t you stay up until 3 a.m. to watch that? As it stands now, they are the favorite to win the gold.

Knowing it will be four more years

Just think it will be another four years until you have to stay awake until 1 a.m. if you want to watch the 11 o’clock news. Now you know four years are a long way off to see water polo played at it’s finest or to see 16-year-old badasses. We can party like its 2012 — because it will be when the Olympics hit London, which is a bit less restrained than Beijing.

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